DETROIT--Here are five observations from the Redskins’ loss to the Lions.

—The Redskins can’t keep giving themselves mountains to climb in the form of turnovers and penalties. Washington had three fumbles hit the ground and lost two of them, the Lions recovered their only fumble. A Dustin Hopkins field goal from 45-yards—a veritable chip shot for him—hit off of the very top of the upright and bounced the wrong way. The Redskins didn’t need all of those plays, just one of them.

—Kirk Cousins put on a show for his hometown fans, including relatives and Michigan State alumni. He completed 77 percent of his passes for 301 yards and a touchdown. Cousins ran for another score, one that appeared to win the game.

—Joe Barry needs to get this last-minute defense figured out. In Baltimore a few weeks ago they almost let a road win slip away but a Joe Flacco TD pass was nullified when replay showed that the receiver’s foot was just out of bounds. Today, they weren’t so fortunate. It’s a tough balance between pressure and coverage but they had held Stafford in check for much of the day until the final minute.

—Chris Thompson needs some more carries. Today he led the team in both carries (12) and yards (73). He finished off some runs  tough, too, fighting for extra yardage. They don’t want to wear him out or risk injuring him but they need to get the ball in his hands.


—I’m not in the “bench Matt Jones” club but he needs to get back to basics. Fighting for extra yardage is great but ball protection is more important.

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